I first tried making homemade almond milk a couple years ago, after many of you told me so many amazing things about it. It’s so creamy! It’s better than store bought! It’s a cinch to make! Homemade almond milk is the best!
And you know what? My first couple tries didn’t exactly knock it out of the park. Two words come to mind: hot mess! I used a cheesecloth and things didn’t go very smoothly, if you catch my drift. I’m sure some of you have a lot more finesse with a cheesecloth, but I did not seem to be one of those people.
This time, I finally took the plunge and purchased a nut milk bag (feel free to giggle). Also called sprouting bags, these mesh straining bags make homemade nut and seed milks (among other things) a total breeze. I cannot wait to explore its many uses.
This time around, my almond milk making process was indeed a breeze.
Here are some step by step photos to show you my process. You should also know that every time I type “step by step” NKOTB starts playing in my head. I don’t even mind it.
We are going to soak a cup of raw almonds overnight or for 8 hours or longer. Sometimes if I’m in a time crunch I just soak them for 1 hour or so and it still turns out fine. Rinse and drain the almonds and pop them into your blender along with 3-4 cups of filtered water (I like 3.5 cups water in this recipe).
Which nuts do you think your body would rather digest – the dry, hard as a rock nuts or the plump, juicy nuts?
Sorry, that sounded all weird and awkward.
My favourite flavour combo is a whole vanilla bean, a couple Medjool dates, cinnamon, and a pinch of sea salt. Oh my lanta. It’s intensely vanilla flavoured with notes of caramel and cinnamon. The secret to an intense vanilla flavour is blending an entire vanilla bean. Just chop it up and toss the whole bean into the blender. You’ll be left with some amazing vanilla almond milk. Of course you can always use vanilla extract or liquid sweeteners too. If using the dates and/or vanilla bean, add them along with the almonds and water. If you simply want to add a liquid sweetener or vanilla extract, you can add them now or at the end. Your call.
Blend for 1 minute on the highest speed. Let’s go TURBO mode!!!!
Turbo mode scares me.
Place your bag over a large bowl and slowly pour in the milk. Thank you Eric for moonlighting as a hand model once again.
A lot of the milk will filter right through the bag without any effort.
But to get all of the milk out, you’ll need to do some gentle squeezing to encourage the milk through. This process took me a few minutes. As you can see in the photo on the right, I was left with about 1 cup of almond pulp.
I rinsed the blender out quickly and poured the milk back into the blender. I do this because I find it easier to pour the milk from the blender into the jar rather than from a large bowl into the jar. If you have a wide mouth funnel feel free to use that.
Check out those tiny specks of vanilla! I blended in a bit of cinnamon and a pinch of fine grain sea salt for even more flavour enhancing. Tell me, what’s better than Vanilla Cinnamon Caramel flavour?
You can use the almond pulp for all kinds of things like oatmeal, hummus, homemade granola, smoothies, cookie or muffin batter, crackers, or you can even dehydrate it and then blend it up to make almond meal. Oh, and you can freeze it too.
Man oh man, it tasted so lovely straight from the blender. I can assure you, it gets even better as it chills in the fridge.
I’ve never been a big milk drinker, but this almond milk had me going back to the fridge again and again and again for little sips. I can’t promise I’m organized enough to make this on a regular basis, but it’s a fun option to have up my sleeve when I’m feeling motivated or just want a special treat.
Homemade Vanilla Cinnamon Almond Milk
Yield: 3.5 cups
- 1 cup raw almonds, soaked in water
- 3.5 cups filtered water
- 2-4 pitted Medjool dates*, to taste (I used 2 large)
- 1 whole vanilla bean*, chopped (or 1/2-1 tsp vanilla extract)
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- small pinch of fine grain sea salt, to enhance the flavour
1. Place almonds in a bowl and cover with water. It’s preferred to soak them overnight (for 8-12 hours) in the water, but you can get away with soaking for 1-2 hours in a pinch.
2. Rinse and drain the almonds and place into a blender along with filtered water, pitted dates, and chopped vanilla bean.
3. Blend on highest speed for 1 minute or so.
4. Place a nut milk bag over a large bowl and slowly pour the almond milk mixture into the bag. Gently squeeze the bottom of the bag to release the milk. This took me about 3-5 minutes to get all the milk out.
5. Rinse out blender and pour the milk back in. Add the cinnamon and pinch of sea salt and blend on low to combine.
6. Pour into a glass jar to store in the fridge for up to 3-5 days. Shake jar very well before using as the mixture separates when sitting. Enjoy with Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies for a real treat. This milk is also lovely with cereal.
Notes: If your dates or vanilla bean are dry/stiff, soak in water to soften before use. You can also use another sweetener of your choice like maple syrup. Same goes for vanilla – feel free to use vanilla extract for a more subtle vanilla flavour.
You might be wondering – If I don’t have a nut milk bag can I use a fine mesh sieve? Yes you can. I did a trial using my sieve. I didn’t find the milk got as smooth compared to using a nut milk bag, but if you strain it several times, it comes out decent. Also, feel free to try a cheesecloth, but I’m definitely not the person to give you advice using that method.
What about the cost?
Homemade almond milk can be cheaper than store bought or it can be more expensive; it really depends on your ingredients. When I see bulk almonds on sale, I like to stock up and buy a big bag. Pop a bag in the freezer to ensure they stay fresh.
To avoid almonds sprayed with the chemical propylene oxide, please see this article and this handy guide to common brands that do and do not use the chemical. If you are concerned about propylene oxide on your almonds be sure to check with your almond retailer to see what sterilization method is used.
Have you ever made homemade almond milk before?
Where do you buy almonds? Any good deals out there in store or online?